Financial Times: China Eyeing Okinawa in the Long-term?

While the Western media has at times taken great delight in publishing somewhat fantastical stories about the influence that Japanese ‘nationalists’ hold over the contemporary Japanese imagination, China’s own home grown group with questionable interpretations of history for the most part seemed to escape the attention of analysts and journalists – until recently. Part of this...

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Japan’s Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

The next 5 months could be one of high drama and tension in East Asia geopolitics due to various leadership transitions and elections. In South Korea we have already seen election year sensitivities coming to have real life policy consequences with the last-minute cancellation of the ACSA/GSOMIA military accords between Japan and the ROK. With the presidential...

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Economist Debates: China’s Military

The Economist in their latest “Economist Debate” – which is a permanent feature they run where they adapt the Oxford style of debating to an online forum – have proposed the moot: “that the rise of China’s military ...

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Ishihara Shintaro Proposes the Purchase of the Senkaku Islands

Edited to provide updated information. In a deliciously interesting and mildly deranged proposal, Ishihara Shintaro has while in Washington told (日) the Japanese press that he is going to try and go forward with an idea to purchase the Senkaku Islands using Tokyo-to money. While technically part of Okinawa territory, the islands are actually owned by...

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How to solve ‘Okinawa’ and other issues

If you speak to certain Japanese security experts (ie Japanese persons), particularly those that are unrepentant supporters of the US-Japan alliance, you will often hear that there are only two options for the resolution of the Futenma impasse – either the Henoko base is built, or all US Marines go home. And of course this...

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The F-35 and long-term implications for the US-Japan alliance

Credit where credit is due, Professor Hornung has written a very timely and useful piece on whether the F-35 selection by Japan could end up doing damage to the US-Japan alliance relationship. He straightforwardly details the difficult situation Japan will be in if cost and delivery delays increase. He ends with the very appropriate question:...

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Chinese troops in Somalia?

A Reuters article (H/T James R. Holmes -see below) from last year contains an interesting quote in regards to anti-piracy strategy from General Chen Bingde, the chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army: For counterpiracy campaigns to be effective, we should probably move beyond the ocean and crash their bases on the land….It’s important that...

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South Korean Complaints about a Lack of Japanese Security Cooperation (from 1981)

The release of South Korean diplomatic documents from 1981 has revealed South Korean annoyance at Japanese free-riding on the US-ROK alliance during the 1970s and 1980s. The documents detail the ROK’s belief that Japanese security consciousness and burden sharing was insufficient, and that Japan should provide economic assistance in kind to offset the lack of...

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Problems piling up for the Japanese F-35 dream

The Yomiuri has published (j) a report worrying about the British Sunday Times’ revelation that BAE Systems internal network may have been hacked by Chinese spies and critical information on the F-35 fighter may have been lost. Both the UK and the US were targets of the attack. In particular there is concern that the advanced...

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Dispatch Japan: The US “pivot” towards East Asia

Peter Ennis at Dispatch Japan has wrapped-up a series on the thoughts of four important Washington DC foreign policy experts on the Obama administration’s much touted “East Asia pivot.” It makes for interesting reading. Read over some of the highlights from the interviews below and click on the links for the full interviews. Senator Jim Webb,...

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Futenma Realignment Adjustment: Relief for the Alliance or Long-term Danger?

The always wonderfully straightforward and sensible Yuki Tatsumi has published a short piece on CSIS arguing that, although there might be a sense of relief on both sides of the Pacific after the agreement to separate the construction of the Henoko replacement facility for Futenma from the transfer of US Marines to Guam and return...

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Meet the new Japanese defense minister, probably worse than the old one.

One of the few genuine improvements that one could have hoped would come out of the most recent cabinet reshuffle in Japan was that the new defense minister would be an improvement over the previous one. The previous defense minister, Ichikawa Yasuo, got off to a stunning start by declaring himself to be an “amateur”...

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